Wisconsin film festival to offer mix of classic and new

by Bob Deutsch

Oshkosh Film FestivalMichael Apted’s “56 Up” is one of many works to play on movie screens this weekend at the Wisconsin Film Festival.

With a variety of film events of various sizes occurring soon, it seems we’re in the grip of festival month. Thursday saw the beginning of the 15th Wisconsin Film Festival, and its lineup will include an eclectic blend of high-profile names and local figures, the underground and the well-trumpeted. The films will be spread across five theaters and be screened until the festival concludes on Monday 15. The subjects of the films to be shown span a wide range of genres that should make for an experience to please audiences of different tastes and from all walks of life.

The more well-known entries will include “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” as well as Michael Apted’s most recent installment in the legendary “Up” series, “56 Up,” a documentary that has been following its subjects every seven years since they were seven years old in the 1960s. This entry is significant in that it contains the most of the original participants since the third film, “21 Up,” in 1977. Another anticipated work will undoubtedly be Joss Whedon’s stylish, retro take on “Much Ado About Nothing,” starring Nathan Fillion. It won’t be the only Shakespeare adaptation on the bill either, sharing space with the Douglas Fairbanks-starring “Taming of the Shrew.”

Also on the schedule are experimental shorts with titles like “Miss Jesus Fries On the Grill,” the full-length indie film “Tiger Tail in Blue,” and a comedy filmed by an international crew in North Korea, “Comrade Kim Goes Flying.”

The experience of seeing films like these on large movie screens, especially those that are rare or out of print, will be one that some pursue. Organizers of such events should consider the appeal of such a display, especially when using alternatives like outdoor screens.

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